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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Interview with Cathy of Treasured Heirlooms

Cathy sure has the true spirit and attitude of real swapstar! Visit her shops Treasured Heirlooms and Elegance and Whimsy for romantic, pink finery! She also has an Etsy shop with vintage goodies and her flickr is full of wonderful sites!

SwapDex: Tell us a bit about you.

Cathy: "Beauty from one's soul comes through in the things they create and the way they choose to live life." So believes Cathy of Cathy Scalise Creations, where the beauty from her soul is seen in her elegant and whimsical artwork. Drawing on her creative talents, Cathy adds the romance of yesteryear to her customers' gardens, homes, and lives through her creations. In her youth, she was deeply affected by her grandparents' collection of antiques, linens and lace, and the pleasure they took in creating a home. Cathy now helps her customers add those same special touches to their own decor. Her creations have been featured in several magazines, and her online boutiques are an inviting place where anyone can stop to smell the flowers, pick up a unique treasure, and find their way home. She lives in Wilmington, MA with her husband of 10 years, Michael.

SD: How long have you been swapping? How did you first learn about swapping, and what made you decide to start? Do you remember your first one?

C: I first learned about swapping 3 years ago when I started blogging. I belong to many different groups where I sell hand created and vintage items. I have two websites and two Etsy sites which made me realize that in addition to purchasing advertising and trying to be featured in magazines, I also had several other wonderful ways to meet new people and bring my talent to the masses. I found my first swap while blogging and I don't recall which swap I tried first. It was either a Victorian Christmas Stocking swap or a Valentine Swap.

SD: What is your range of swapping? Do you stick to swaps hosted by people you know or are you likely to swap with anyone, anytime?

C: I participate in swaps whenever I find one I like via blogging. Sometimes I am just a day late and have already missed the deadline. One important aspect for me is that I have the proper amount of time to make something beautiful for my swap partner. Since your swaps are a gift from your heart, they should reflect that in their design and how they are presented. If the season is super busy, then I wait until I find another swap I can join in. They are all fun. I will swap with anyone who allows me to join in. That's the whole reason for swapping. Meeting new friends and getting to know what other women create.

SD: What's your favorite swap you've ever been in or hosted?

C: This is the first time I am hosting a swap. It's the first time in four years that the economy has slowed down my business enough for me to have lots of time to be organized enough to Host a swap.

My favorite swap I participated in was the Victorian Christmas Stocking swap because I love the season, I adore anything frilly, pastel and Victorian and filling up anything with gifts and trinkets is so much fun. Especially a stocking from Santa! Filling up anything you create, whether it be a box, trunk, holiday stocking, etc. is a ball because the ideas are endless.

SD: What do you do to make your packages special?

C: Putting my heart and soul into the creative portion of the package is what makes it special. I believe that kindness and love and what goes into the "giving" part allows the receiver a tiny window into your soul. It should make them smile and be happy. I consider it a magical experience, if it is done correctly. Only participate if it's something you truly want to do because the creative part is the most important piece of the swap. This is what your partner will be cherishing for years to come if it truly a gift from your heart.

SD: Do you have a good story about hosting or participating in a swap?

C: I participated in a swap and my partner was a Folk Artist which is totally out of the norm of me. Although I adore vintage, country and primitive and decorated my home in that theme for years, I'm more of a pastel, Victorian-type of girl now. But I have to say I loved what she created for me. I still have all three items tucked here and there around my home. She used my favorite color palette which is pink and used her imagination and her creations were just out of this world. Completely unique and not like anything I could have imagined. Just lovely and I cherish them.

SD: What do you think is the most challenging part of hosting a swap? Any advice for someone who is thinking about hosting a swap?

C: The most challenging part of the swap, I'm guessing since this is my first is time. You need to think of an idea that will be fun to create. You need lots of time to invite people and get the word out (lots of blogging time to get interest). Lots of emailing back and forth to the people who have left out important information necessary to have the swap run smoothly. Patience when people want you to change something about the swap to suit their particular tastes and it's not what you had in mind! lol Keeping on top of the schedule with email reminders to be sure everyone gets their swaps completed, wrapped and shipped to their partner by the deadline so their partner can enjoy during the season it was created for. And now I'm hoping after writing all of this I can pull off this swap without a hitch or too many things going wrong. I'm already feeling a bit of what might be things getting out of control if I don't keep strong and hold a tight reign on my original idea! lol

SD: Any exciting plans for the near future? Swaps, projects, new products?

C: I always have new projects in my head and in process in my studio, but I don't tell anyone about them until they are ready for reveal day. Inspiring people very often can turn into ideas being quickly absorbed and created and being sold on someone else' website, then your "great new idea and your sales" are out the window and fast. So I keep my creations tight lipped until a newsletter goes out or a magazine ad is due to be published.


Cathy said...

Thanks Jenna,

This is so cool. I blogged about it too.

Take care,


Sheila said...

What a great interview. I could never have got my thoughts in as good of an order as you did.. lol... But it was all from the heart.. Sheila